Known as an artists’ getaway in the 1960s and ’70s, Manhattan‘s hip SoHo neighborhood is famous for its cast-iron architecture, trendy shops, and innovative art galleries. SoHo spans the area from South Houston Street to Canal Street, and is bounded on the east by Lafayette Street. Here are our curated picks of the top 10 things to see and do in SoHo.
Coffee Shop, American, $$$
Everyman Espresso | Courtesy of Everyman Espresso
New York is one of the epicenters of finely crafted coffee creations. Located in the lobby of the Classic Stage Company, Everyman Espresso knows how to make its customers feel at home. Owner Sam believes in creating a customer-barista connection by not displaying any menus. Baristas guide a customer through a “coffee experience,” offering suggestions and curating a specialty drink just right for them. This low-key café is a must-try for those looking for a new coffee experience, along with anyone who loves their latte art.
This hip Mediterranean restaurant is inspired by the cosmopolitan streets of Istanbul, creating an inviting environment. Eastern Mediterranean flavors are blended into Pera’s authentic recipes, creating dishes like Macedonian chicken with preserved lemons and green olives and braised short ribs with all-spice mulled wine. Brunch plates include brioche French toast with fig chutney and oven-baked eggs with an olive Parmesan polenta cake. Make sure to stop by this restaurant during NYC’s Restaurant Week, from July 20th – August 14th; a three-course dinner for $38 and a three-course brunch and lunch for $25 will be served.
Not your average museum store, MoMA Design Store in SoHo offers everything from trendy fashions, technology, décor items, and even furniture. Shop for unique gifts from classic designers and up-and-coming artistic talents. On the lower level of the store, shoppers can find a collection of Muji products that range from clothing to colored pencils. This Japanese retailer celebrates a minimalist philosophy and uses clean designs to inspire their products. Find your inner artist at the MoMA design store.
Before you shake your head as to why an Apple Store is on our list, get a load of this – exclusive, minimal publicity events are held right upstairs in the Apple Theater. Events are usually posted online a week or two ahead of time, so be sure to check the site for details. Upcoming events include a Meet the Filmmaker series, including the directors from the films The Gift and That Sugar Film, a documentary on the effects of excessive sugar intake.
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, American, $$$
Film Fourm | WikiCommons
Since opening its doors in 1998, Mercer Kitchen has continuously drawn a crowd of fresh talents from the art and fashion world. Candlelit sconces, exposed brick, and long communal tables give the restaurant a high end, stylish ambiance. Guests can enjoy an open kitchen and watch the chefs prepare their meals, which include options from a raw seafood bar and truffle pizza. Be sure to visit the elegant bar area and enjoy the customer favorite Raspberry Lychee Bellini.
While you won’t be able to see the latest big budget blockbuster here, this independent film house showcases foreign films and cutting-edge documentaries. Having opened its doors in the 1970s, Film Forum is the only autonomous, nonprofit cinema in New York City and is dedicated to showing independent films as well as American classics. Check out the special Listen To Me Marlon that displays beloved film star Marlon Brando as much more than Vito Corleone.
Nathan Vincent, Locker Room (installation view), 144 X 228 in, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 2011 | Photo by Stephen Miller/Courtesy of the artist
The artsy history of SoHo provides a perfect backdrop to bring the perspective of LGBTQ artists to the NYC art world. The Leslie-Lohman Museum strives not only to preserve the unique artwork but to make sure the history of the LBGTQ community is not lost. A collection of over 24,000 sculptures, paintings, and photography embraces the many artists displayed as individuals. Walking through the doors of this museum enlightens, entertains, and inspires the creative soul in all of us.
The home of the beloved cronut, Dominique Ansel Bakery has delivered mouthwatering creative treats to its customers since opening its doors in late 2011. The cronut, a hybrid between a croissant and a doughnut, has gained popularity throughout the world and has earned owner Dominique Ansel the James Beard award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. For a fun twist on the original chocolate chip cookie, be sure to try the chocolate chip cookie shots served with vanilla milk. Not to be missed is the lobster tail creation – a pull apart pretzel stuffed with butter-crunch brittle and peanut butter that comes served with whipped brown butter honey.
The original Pegu Club opened its doors in 1882 in Burma to serve British army officers and administrators. This SoHo hotspot plays a great homage to its past, with a classy night lounge designed to impress customers with its signature house cocktail, made with dry gin, orange bitters, lime juice, and orange Curaçao. Be sure to try the Earl Grey MarTEAni, which has a light lemon flavor and comes topped with egg froth.
A wonderful pick for families, this impressive 10,000 square foot museum offers art classes and special events for children and adults alike. Children can take part in special clay sculpting classes while parents can learn the secrets of bookbinding and block printing. A great spot for both locals and tourists, come to the Children’s Museum of the Arts for a fun, family-centered afternoon.